Customer: Non-Profit Organization Representing the Largest Sector of Higher Education

Project: Self-Service BI


Customer Profile

Governed by a 32-member board of directors elected by the membership, the customer is a nonprofit organization whose overriding mission is to “Build a Nation of Learners by Advancing America’s Community Colleges.” The association represents nearly 1,200 two-year, associate degree–granting institutions and more than 13 million students, as well as a growing number of international members in Puerto Rico, Japan, Great Britain, Korea, and the United Arab Emirates. The colleges are the largest and fastest-growing sector of U.S. higher education, enrolling close to half (46 percent) of all U.S. undergraduates.

Business Goals & Benefits

The organization was looking to modernize a legacy reporting solution used by a strategic initiative, which supported member community colleges by allowing them to analyze their own institutional data to diagnose barriers to success facing their students. The legacy solution had several key pain points that limited the success of the application, including:

  • The cube-based solution required the manual creation of separate data cubes for each member school, making maintenance time consuming and expensive.
  • The reporting interface offered very limited ad-hoc capabilities and was not intuitive to users, resulting in adoption challenges.
  • The inability to support drilling limited the analysis that member colleges could do without having to submit requests to the non-profit organization for IT support.

Southport’s Role

In partnership with MicroStrategy, Southport implemented a solution that combined
MicroStrategy’s best of breed technology with Southport’s experienced delivery resources and proven methodology. The solution is externally accessible to member colleges via the web and provides a combination of dashboard reporting and ad-hoc analysis that allows member schools to conduct detailed benchmark analysis to compare the performance of their students with the performance of students at similar schools. The new solution allowed the client to streamline the operations and support functions while deploying the solution in shorter time to more member schools and users (increased scale).

Scope of Southport Engagement

  • BI Strategy, Planning & Roadmap Development
  • Platform Architecture & Installation
  • BI Application & Report Development
  • Dashboards & Advanced Visualization
  • Performance Optimization
  • BI Testing Services

Learn more about Southport’s Business Intelligence Service Offerings.